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Transcript - Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer: June 3, 2021

(On the status of QB Gardner Minshew II and his absence today) "Yeah, it was a light day for the veterans and he'll be here on Monday—personal day. [Andrew] Norwell wasn't there as well. They'll both be back on Monday."

(On the donation that the Jaguars will be making to the four schools that were renamed by Duval County School Board this week) "Yeah, I think it's awesome and since I arrived in January, Shad Khan and the Jaguars—it's amazing me how much commitment they have to so many different charitable organizations. I think that is incredible and what I've seen so far [over] these last four months, I just think it's great for our community. And I'm so proud to be part of this organization."

(On the progress of the offense and how QB Trevor Lawrence looked today) "I thought he looked great. He had a really good day today. He's just making steady progress. I want to say—I can't give you percentage of the installation, but we've been at it now for three weeks and one of the advantages that we've had with Trevor [is] that we've kind of made a decision—I can't remember exactly when—we started working with him a good month before practices started. So, he's been great, his retention has been great, execution has improved. I just like—and so do I, I speak on behalf of [Brian] Schottenheimer and [Darrell] Bevell—his seriousness and his approach to this has been fantastic."

(On the status of the defense and what has stood out from them) "Yeah, it's hard to give you a full evaluation, obviously that'll come after we do a lot more against each other. We've only had three days against each other. I see a rebuilt secondary, even though CJ [Henderson] isn't full speed yet, he's getting close, but we have [Rayshawn] Jenkins and Shaquill [Griffin] added to the guys that were already there. So, I'm anticipating our secondary to be one of the strengths of our team. We worked in free agency to help it, we worked in the draft to help it and I feel we have some good core players there. So, that's where we start. We also brought in Damien Wilson for maturity and experience to go with Myles Jack and Joe [Schobert] and then we have some good young players behind them. So, I feel really good about our personnel on defense. Scheme, they're still learning it—and we haven't been—we're in shorts and just feeling it out. In phase three, the players association—we're not supposed to do a lot against each other, there's no winner or loser, so it's hard to give you a true evaluation, but I like where we're at."

(On the status of RB James Robinson and how the second-year players are transitioning from a virtual rookie year to now with a more normal offseason) "Night and day, we're actually in team meetings now. We're keeping our distance from each other, but a team meeting is so much better than the Zoom. And I heard—I wasn't coaching last year—but the horror stories about videos not being able to show videos, the technology wasn't great. So, having them here in person has been fantastic. James Robinson is one of my favorite guys. I can't name a harder worker right now on our team, and that started in January all the way through June now. So, I love that guy."

(On status of WR DJ Chark Jr. as he bounces back from last season) "Yeah, he didn't play well last year and obviously, his first year he was very good. I just didn't like his size, his strength, I just thought it was way below average, way below what we expect from our receivers. He was told that and the best thing about DJ is he addressed it and hit it very hard. [He] gained seven pounds of muscle, he's playing a much more physical game, he's a big guy that played little last year and that can't happen. Guys like Mike Thomas and Louis Murphy, those big, strong, fast receivers—and he's got to play big and strong, and he can now because he is big and strong. So, I just had, ironically, a good meeting with him as we walked off the field. We can't lose that strength and power gains that he made in the offseason. And he's committed to do it this summer."

(On what it says about a guy that gets a negative review and then turns it around and addresses it) "Well, it tells you he's a strong player. You know, this whole world is about increasing someone's value and DJ Chark increases value by getting bigger and stronger and playing that way—and he can also help us win. So, I mean, I love the fact that he's no resistance, he acknowledged it and Sanjay [Lal] has been working with him and I love where he's at."

(On whether the First DownTown's sports performance center was already included in the plan or whether he had to nudge for it) "I can't tell you what went on before our conversations with Shad [Khan], but I can tell you that we spent an incredible amount of time on that, on that piece. And just the understanding of the vision that we have as an organization and that's to give the players the best. The most valuable commodity of any organization of the players and how you invest back in the players. And that's always been—for the last 30 years, I've always believed in that. I didn't say, 'Be soft,' I didn't say—whatever. I work people hard, bring out the greatness in them, but also treat them like gold, treat them right, the way they're— really, they've earned that right as an NFL player, I think they've earned that right as a college football player, I think you've earned that right as a volleyball player. You've earned that right to get the very best treatment, the very best training that's possible. And if you don't get that, I think the players are getting the—that's not fair. So, that was a big part of it, [but] I can't tell you what happened before those conversations."

(On the duo of S Rayshawn Jenkins and CB Shaquill Griffin) "Yeah, I can't be more happy about that. Some of our veteran coaches and other colleagues of mine in the NFL warned me about free agency, especially when you don't know the player that you're getting. And to say that I knew Shaq and Ray, I did not. However, I knew Louis Murphy very well, he's one of their mentors and a guy that kind of grew up watching him play at Florida and in the NFL—and I had some former players play with Ray and Shaq. So, we kind of had an idea of what we'd get, but they've actually been better than I thought they would be and I'm not talking about football ability. I'm talking about people, I'm talking about work ethic, leaders on the field. They've been great."

(On whether he had a lot conversations with other returning veterans about improvements like the conversation he had with WR DJ Chark Jr.) "Oh I don't know if it's fair to get too deep in it, but I did. I saw a team that didn't look very good—and I'm not talking about just—my vision of a team is a big, strong, powerful, fast team. And it wasn't that way. And we had a lot of injuries last year and that's why we made a lot of changes in that sports performance area. You followed our teams over the last 10-15 years, and I would expect to be as big and fast and strong as anybody in the country, and that's in college. And in the NFL, I expect the same. Yeah, we had a bunch of good talks, but the good thing is there is zero resistance. They all agreed and they knew that would—and now, you have to give them all of the amenities to make sure that can happen. So, we hired, we have four strength coaches now, that's a bigger staff than we've had in the past. Our training staff is not a bunch of trainers, I consider them experts. We do all in-house rejuvenation now, which is the dry needling, the cupping, the deep tissue massage—they didn't have that here last year. That's all here now."

(On his philosophy on joint practices potentially for training camp) "I've done a lot of research on it. I believe we will, I don't want to tell you too much now because I don't know if it's finalized yet. But we are going to try to do a joint practice."

(On the high attendance at OTAs and whether he has done anything different to make the players want to attend) "Well, I just—that's a good question, Andy. We try to—we've been around each other a lot, I just want to make sure they've got the very best. And I just don't—I said that this morning, I don't really believe that a professional athlete or a college athlete should have to go somewhere and pay for proper training, they've earned that right. And that's something I've always believed in and we're going to do that here. If a player decides to go somewhere else to get better, then I'm going to try to hire that person they're going to, because they deserve the best. I don't want to have a player tell me he can get better training in Phoenix. That shouldn't happen, it should happen right here."

(On how different it is to go to his staff for updates on players) "It actually is that way now. Our strength staff and training staff are getting very close to these players. I'm getting very close to these players. And I understand it's a business, I understand that. I actually had a team meeting about that, there's going to be cuts, there's going to be trades involved, that's going to be a tough deal when you get close to the players like we do. But we're committed to give them the best and I ask for their best in return."

(On WR DJ Chark Jr. speaking on mental health and how much of that falls on the coach helping players take care of their mental health) "Well, I've been in this game for a long time and it's never been more prevalent than right now. This is a tough world right now for—it's a world that I didn't grow up in and I've learned a lot in the last 20 years how different it is. So, it's something we address, we have a full-time sports psychologist on hand. I've talked individually with a bunch of guys and we're on-call 24/7 for that. And I know the NFL has tried to do a great job with that as well. So, I watched DJ Chark's message, I'm so glad that he did it because I think that these guys are role models for people."

(On what he likes about Special Teams Coordinator Nick Sorenson) "Yeah, Nick came extremely highly recommended by guys on our staff that worked with him. I did a Zoom interview with him, I talked to [Seattle Seahawks Head] Coach [Pete] Carroll about him and the system we have in place is, we're going to continue. I just evaluated, I really like the system that we had in place and if it changed dramatically in June, I don't know if it would be fair to the players. And then when I interviewed Nick, we interviewed several people, I thought he was fantastic. And then he had a great couple of days, he got off a plane and the next morning, he was coaching the team. So, he's done great. Carlos Polk is very involved, we elevated his assignments as well and I feel great about where we're at."

(On whether changing systems was a big lure of his hiring) "It was a big lure, yeah. But he had to perform well, obviously. You know, his recommendations were off the chart, and he did a great job in the interview."

(On the most eye-opening part of the current facility when he was considering taking the job) "Yeah, in those days, I've got to be honest with you, I walked off a bus, walked in a locker room, went on the field and then got on a bus and went home. So, we never really evaluated it. So, once the decision was made that we were going to potentially move forward, we got on a plane and we flew here and walked the facilities. And Mark Lamping, Shad and myself, Trent, we walked around and kind of put together a vision at that point, whenever that was. And then, later that day, we decided to move forward with the job and take it and, 'Let's make this the destination place.' And Shad was all in."

(On status of LB Myles Jack) "Yeah, he's an alpha leader, he's a stud. I love the way he's worked. He was a little overweight, he lost that weight immediately. He's been A+ in the weight room and in the training. You know, you need your Josh Allens and Myles Jacks to be who they are. And when I talk about core players, everyone wants to talk about free agency and the NFL draft, but I always try to make sure we mention the guys that I see [as] core players. 'Does he have to play better?' Yeah, a lot of the core players have to. But we've addressed it and he's done everything we've asked and above and beyond since we stepped foot in Jacksonville."